Clarification: Island sends much more upstate than $3.2 million

Fri, 04/29/2022 - 1:00am
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To the Editor,
The assertion attributed to me in the April 22, 2022 BI Times, that based on projections provided by them, the state will be collecting “3.2 million. . . in the form of various taxes this year” is grossly inaccurate. The number is rounded but basically correct, however it is not a composite of “various” taxes.
In the context of a discussion about my bafflement over this town being expected to fund two state troopers for a weekend presence over the upcoming summer I said it was projected the state would be receiving from Block Island $3.2 million in meals tax alone, the qualification “alone” being the entire point of the remark. Not hotel tax, not everything but meals sales tax, not income tax, not state conveyance tax on property transfers – a tax based on real estate sales dollars, think about that one alone! - and so forth and so on. The
number I cited was meals sales tax alone.
The notion that this busy little place sends only $3.2 million upstate is manifestly absurd. This level of misinformation serves no one well and the level of difficulty in correcting it is akin to putting toothpaste back in the tube. I am not concerned that people here would think me so ill-informed but I know these mis-statements in print, and now, worse, on line, can be damning upstate.
Everyone wants the continuation of a solid police presence, I think it is fair to say the vast majority of us want our fine local force to have a summer backup as we have had in the past. We remain a part of the State of Rhode Island, as we have been since the 1660s. Why should we be the sole town with a standing local force to pay for a state presence?

Martha Ball
Mansion Road